The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman has tasked the inter-agency committee on port decongestion, to put in place an enduring structure that will bring a permanent solution to the Apapa gridlock and total reconstruction of all the Apapa port access roads, saying the state of port access roads and the Apapa gridlock call for urgent attention.
Ms Usman spoke when the committee, which has members drawn from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing; Lagos State Ministry of Transport; Nigerian Ports Authority; Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy; Nigerian Customs Service and Federal Road Safety Commission.
After receiving briefs on the palliatives done on the Wharf Road, she promised to reach out the Management of Dangote Group and Floor Mills of Nigeria on their pledge to carry out the reconstruction of Wharf Road under their corporate social responsibility.
She further gave the committee two weeks to report back to her on the progress made on ensuring that reconstruction resumes on the road. She also said that she will personally reach out to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to make him appreciate how important the reconstruction of the port access roads is.
She thanked the government of Lagos State on the interest it has show on the reconstruction of the ports access roads, saying: ”Work must start now because of the importance of the roads.”
According to her, America’s General Electric which is billed to become the concessionaire of Nigerian railways, has assured that it would commence haulage of cargo from the Apapa port to the northern part of the country, immediately the concession is completed in 2017.
She had noted that the poor state of the roads into Apapa is killing the trade facilitation and affects the smooth delivery of cargoes to importers.
In a similar vein, Usman appealed to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and the National Assembly to make budgetary allocation for the reconstruction of Creek Road in the 2017 budget and also hasten completion of the trailer park opposite the Tin-Can port to keep the haulage trucks away from the road.
She also called for synergy between the federal, state and other stakeholders to find a permanent solution to the perennial gridlock on the road. She urged port users to always subject themselves to the security checks at the gates leading to the ports and warned unauthorised persons to stay away from the ports, saying those who break the rule will face sanction.